When Ann Elizabeth Fowler Hodges decided to take an afternoon nap on her living room couch in Sylacauga Alabama, she could not have imagined that she was about to become the only person in documented history to be struck by a meteorite. But at 12:46 pm on November 30th, 1954, that's exactly what happened.
After crashing through the ceiling and bouncing off a radio, a chondrite meteorite fragment struck Ann Hodges in the upper thigh. Ann and her mother initially believed that their chimney had collapsed, but then called the police and fire departments upon discovering the space rock in their house. Ann's husband, Eugene Hodges, did not learn of the incident until he returned from work, at which point his wife informed him that there had been a "little excitement."
Ann's only physical injuries were bruises to her hand and upper thigh, but she later admitted herself to the hospital with anxiety from the incident. Unfortunately, the aftermath of the meteor strike would not treat Ann kindly.
The meteorite itself was initially confiscated by military members from Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, but was later returned to the Hodgeses. The house's landlord, Birdie Guy, also put in a claim for the space rock to compensate for property damages. Eventually, he agreed to let the Hodgeses have it in exchange for a $500 settlement.
While initial external offers for the meteorite reached as high as $5,500, by the time the Hodgeses regained sole possession of the rock, their story had lost publicity and offers had dried up. Ann eventually sold the meteor to the Alabama Museum of Natural History for $25 in 1956, much to her husband's dismay.
Following the incident, Ann became a local celebrity; receiving fan mail, and warding off reporters. As many as 200 reporters came to her house in a single day. According to her husband, the attention turned her shyness into social anxiety, and she struggled with health problems. Ann and Eugene got divorced in 1964, and Ann passed away in 1972 from kidney failure. She was 52.
The meteorite would come to be known as the Sylacauga meteorite. Splitting into three pieces on entry, the fragment that struck Ann Hodges is now known as the Hodges Fragment, and is still on display at the Alabama Museum of Natural History. Another fragment resides in the Smithsonian.